Tonbridge School has launched a partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston and becomes one of the first schools in the UK to deliver MIT’s Global Teaching Labs programme.
Two MIT undergraduate students, Favour Oladimeji and Evan Rubel, have been based at Tonbridge throughout January, delivering lessons and hosting workshops in their subject specialisms.
The pair are also providing the boys with first-hand accounts of what it is like to study in the United States and, in particular, at MIT, one of the world’s most prestigious universities.
Favour, who is teaching Biology and Chemistry, is in the final year of her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Engineering, and is currently applying for PhD programmes at MIT. She plans to pursue a career in scientific research, which will include developing therapeutics for diseases.
Evan is teaching Computer Science and Mathematics: once completing his Bachelor of Science this year, in Computer Science and Engineering, he will join the one-year Master’s of Engineering (MEng) programme at MIT.
Favour said: “Everyone has been really friendly and gave me a warm welcome. The boys have been great students: they’re eager to learn new things, which makes teaching them so enjoyable.
“I like to think I bring a unique perspective, as a current university student who has conducted a broad-range of scientific research. In many lessons, I’m able to draw connections between what the students are learning and ‘real world’ applications in Biology and Chemistry.”
Evan added: “I strive to be someone who encourages the boys to ask questions and challenge what is presented. I have been impressed by the high calibre of teaching and learning, and the holistic education – both academic and pastoral – that the boys receive at Tonbridge.”
MIT’s Global Teaching Labs programme recruits talented students who want to ‘learn by teaching’ and further develop their broader skills and knowledge. During their time overseas, undergraduates will, for instance, be learning to communicate effectively with those from different backgrounds and nationalities, while also working in teams and presenting subject insights in engaging ways for school pupils.
James Priory, the School’s Headmaster, said: “We are delighted to embark on this partnership, which means all in our School community have an opportunity to benefit from a taste of the world-class skills, expertise and research that MIT is rightly renowned for. The knowledge and experience being shared by Favour and Evan in their various lessons and talks is inspiring for our boys. Those considering applying to US institutions also have an excellent opportunity to ask questions and find out more, something which could be potentially life-changing in terms of future study and career paths.”
Tonbridge is currently seeing greater success with US applications than ever before: in 2023, its leavers gained places at Princeton, Chicago, Duke, Columbia, the University of Southern California and NYU Abu Dhabi, with several US-bound students gaining highly sought-after scholarships. Leavers gained places at both Harvard and MIT in 2022, and in the past year at universities in Canada, Hong Kong and The Netherlands.